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Culture and recreation

Onondaga County Parks provide recreational, cultural, educational, and environmental opportunities in a 6,500-acre system.  The “Parks for Tomorrow” is an infrastructure program charged with improving the condition of Onondaga County offers a variety of high quality cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities not typically found in a mid-sized community. 

Syracuse Stage Logo  

Syracuse Stage produces and performs both classical and modern plays with professional actors. It maintains a close working relationship with Syracuse University's drama department. Its Arts-In-Education Program in county schools seeks to develop young audiences and addresses problems of literacy, problem solving and cultural diversity in the community. The season of six main plays runs from September through May. Syracuse Stage is one of sixteen regional and community theater groups in the area.

The Syracuse Opera Company is the third largest year-round professional opera company in NYS and provides three stage productions each year. The Syracuse opera ensemble presents 100 educational performances throughout the region each year.

Syracuse Jazzfest is the Northeast's largest free jazz festival, attracting 90,000 music fans during its seven day run. The Festival features internationally and nationally known jazz artists including Ray Charles and Winton Marsalis as well as regional and local performers.

  Alliance Bank Stadium Image
NBT Bank Stadium
NBT Bank Stadium opened April 3, 1997 to a sold-out crowd of 12,000 fans.

The Stadium has been called the finest minor league baseball facility in the country, combining modern amenities for athletes and fans with old-fashioned brick facade architecture. Designed by HOK- the architects of Camden Yards in Baltimore, Coor's Field in Denver and Jacobs Field in Cleveland - NBT Bank Stadium is designed to serve as a multi-purpose facility for a variety of area sporting and entertainment events. 

Syracuse Crunch Hockey Team Player  

The Syracuse Crunch, the top minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lighting, brought professional hockey back to Onondaga County in 1994. The 6,230-seat Onondaga County War Memorial, renovated as part of the development of the OnCenter Complex, is the home ice for the Crunch. During the 1999-2000 season, attendance topped 150,000, averaging over 3,500 per game. In February 1999 the War Memorial Arena hosted the American Hockey League All Star Game that was broadcast to an estimated 40 million homes in the United States and Canada on ESPN-2 and TSN, the Canadian Sports Channel. The Crunch also hosted a first-ever NHL Exhibition Game in the Fall 2000 between the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Syracuse University sports provide upstate New York with nationally ranked men's and women's collegiate athletics. The 50,000-seat Carrier Dome, America's only on-campus domed stadium, is the home of Syracuse University football, basketball, track and lacrosse. The Syracuse University lacrosse program is a perennial powerhouse; its football and basketball programs are consistently ranked among the top 20 teams in the country. In addition to Syracuse University sports, the Carrier Dome is the venue for Central New York's major concert events. The dome hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Championships in 2000, 2002 and 2005.

Onondaga County Parks provide recreational, cultural, educational, and environmental opportunities in a 6,500-acre system.  The “Parks for Tomorrow” is an infrastructure program charged with improving the condition of Onondaga County Parks for all generations.  The infrastructure program offers a comprehensive program to fix and improve aspects of the parks system that are in major need of repair.  It will remedy features and conditions that over the years have slipped or things that through no one’s fault, have just reached the end of their life expectancy.  The Onondaga County Parks Department will take care of important needs for today’s visitors and through the completion of this program have made the Parks System a better physical entity than what it is currently.

The County-owned Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park was featured on the Discovery Channel's "Ultimate Guide to Elephants". The Zoo was selected for this documentary based on the high quality of its programs. The Zoo's Asian elephant exhibit is among its most widely recognized, particularly in light of the birth of four Asian elephants since 1991. The in-city Zoo added several new attractions- the Amur (Siberian tigers), lion cubs, red pandas and Rainforest Exhibit. An Antiquity Cave has examples of animals that existed over 600 million years ago, and the Diversity Exhibit houses colorful birds in a lush tropical setting. In 2005, the Zoo added 19 Humboldt Penguins to its exhibits featured in a 50,000 - gallon pool with six different windows to view the penguins swimming and playing underwater and on land.

Families Enjoying Jamesville Beach
Jamesville Beach

In all, the County Parks system provides the community with a nature center, beaches, forested areas and natural feature parks, a centrally located multi-use park with intensive recreational opportunities, a marina, athletic fields, fish hatchery, and other historic facilities. Annual attendance at the County's parks is approximately 3.0 million.


Everson Museum of Art Image
Everson Museum of Art
New York State Fair Image
New York State Fair
Destiny USA to scale back hours starting Tuesday
Destiny USA
Heartbroken' New York Zoo Loses Two Young Elephants to 'Lethal' Virus in  One Week
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo
at Burnet Park
Sailboat Race at Oneida Shores County Park
Oneida Shores County Park

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